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Note:

The vast majority of the work I've done for Ripcord is under wraps. What I show here is intentionally abstracted in order to avoid my presenting any of Ripcord's core intellectual property.


Ripcord Operations Navigator (RON) Redesign

 
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Context and Introduction

Ripcord digitizes paper. We use robotic scanners to sift through boxes of company records at unparalleled speeds. Each scanned image is then uploaded to Canopy, Ripcord's cloud records management platform. RON is the software that keeps track of this process from the moment boxes arrive at Ripcord to the moment the records are uploaded to Canopy. When I arrived at Ripcord, RON was effectively a spreadsheet. There was a massive amount of data sorted into columns and rows and there was nothing you could do but look at it. If a production-halting bug came up, it could be hours before it was fixed.

 
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My Team and Role

I worked on this project with one product manager and two software engineers. I was in charge of the design process from end to end. That being said, Ripcord is a startup and everyone wears many hats. This project was completed with the help of virtually everyone at Ripcord.

Problem Definition

My task was clear: I had to design an interface for RON. The problem and its ultimate solution, however, remained undefined. The meat of this project was research. Who was using RON? What were they using it for? What were the ways in which it was and wasn't working? I asked these and many more questions to all of RONs users.

From these interviews, our team came to the main goal of the redesign: RON should allow any individual who is involved in Ripcord's production to do three things:

  1. Assess production status
  2. Locate errors or alerts if there are any
  3. Respond effectively to errors and alerts

Most importantly, the end-user should be able to take action as quickly as possible.

 
In production, time is of the essence. Mere moments of downtime could be detrimental to productivity.
— Mechanical Engineer

In order to measure my success, my key performance indicator became: the average time it takes for a user to solve a production issue.

Sketching the User Flow

Armed with an idea of the demands of RON users, I sketched out concepts for how I could best present this information through a software interface. I sketched alongside mechanical engineers and operations associates, checking with them at every stage, to make sure that I was moving in the right direction. Here's what I came up with:

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Ecosystem of Alerts

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I developed a system of alerts that would help users identify and respond to production issues. User interviews taught me that any scanning-related issue can be placed in one of two categories: headache or disaster. Headaches are issues that needed attention: the need to double check to make sure a page is really blank or if a duplicate is really a duplicate. Disasters are issues that halt production. A workcell is malfunctioning or a piece of the robot's software is down. Alerts of the headache variety are presented in orange and alerts of the disaster variety are presented in red.

 

Final Comps

This prototype presents all of the information necessary to any RON user. At a glance, one can determine production status: if you only see green, you're good to go. If there is an alert, the affected production stage affected is immediately clear and with just one click the user can pinpoint the exact location of the issue.

 
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Accessibility and Functionality

RON needed to be completely accessible to individuals with vision impairment. I worked through the section 508 guidelines for accessible web design. It was exciting to design interactions that were clear and even conveyed more information as a function of their clarity. RON's "Filter by Production Stage" interaction effectively presents which production stage was selected, while taking advantage of this extra visual real estate to provide useful stats about this stage's production activity.

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Determining Success

This platform is by no means complete. The first implementation, however has been a success. The average triage time has nearly been cut in half and users have been effusive about its effect on their workflow. In the coming months we will work to develop further RON functionality.

Thanks for reading!

 

 
 

Product Update Video

Here's a video I made for our most recent product update. We had 48 hours and no budget. In it, you can see some of the software interface I helped design and am in the process of fully redesigning.